Let’s Outlaw Being Homeless! That’ll Work!

Cartoon by Barry


A cartoon by me and R.E. Ryan.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. All the panels show a gritty commercial doorway – the kind that’s recessed a few feet into the building – on a city sidewalk. There’s litter and graffiti here.

There are two characters in the comic strip. The first character is a homeless man sleeping in the doorway, wearing a zip-up sweatshirt over a t-shirt and a dull red knit cap, and with a full beard.  The other character is a muscular-looking cop dressed in a police uniform and carrying a baton. In defiance of tradition, he is cleanshaven. I’ll call these two characters KNITCAP and COP.

PANEL 1

Knitcap, covered by a brown blanket and with his head pillowed on some rolled-up clothes, is lying in a doorway, apparently asleep. The cop is using his baton to poke knitcap in the side. The cop has a somewhat sadistic grin.

COP: Hey, you! Get up! We’ve outlawed sleeping in public! You’re not allowed anymore!

PANEL 2

Knitcap is sitting up, rubbing sleep out of his eyes with one hand. He speaks calmly. The cop watches, smirking, arms akimbo.

KNITCAP: In that case, I guess I’ll sleep in a hotel tonight.

PANEL 3

A close-up of Knitcap. He’s stroking his chin with a hand, as if thinking through his options.

KNITCAP: Or should I sleep in my townhouse instead? Or my Hamptons place? I’ll call my butler and ask what he thinks!

PANEL 4

Knitcap, grinning, is now holding a hand next to his face, thumb and pinky finger extended, pretending it’s a phone as he talks. The cop is glaring and slapping his baton against his palm.

KNITCAP: Smithers? Smithers old boy! My super fun street sleeping holiday is done. Which of my mansions shall I sleep in tonight.

COP (thought): Next step: Outlaw sarcasm.

CHICKEN FAT WATCH

Chicken fat are unimportant but fun details cartoonists sometimes sneak into comic strips.

In panel one, in the lower-right-hand corner of the panel, two rats are sitting, holding playing cards and apparently playing poker, or some similar card game. In panel two, a cat walks in, apparently stalking the rats. The rats look at the cat. And in panel four, the cat has been dealt in and is playing the game with them.

In all the panels, Knitcap is wearing a t-shirt with some words that are hard to make out. But what it says is “No, you’re Spartacus.”

In panel three, there’s a lot of mostly-unintelligible graffiti, but just below the doorknob someone has painted “BACKGROUND DETAILS RULZ.”


Let’s Outlaw Being Homeless! That’ll Work! | Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons, Social Justice |

Free Trade Is For Peasants, Not Cartoonists

Cartoon by Barry


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has eight panels.

PANEL 1

This panel shows Barry (that is, me), wearing an expensive-looking three piece suit. He’s sitting in a big armchair, legs crossed at the knee, waving at us with one hand and holding a cigar in the other. Next to the armchair is a small glass fishbowl with a gold-colored fish in it.

BARRY: Hi! I’m Barry, and I’ll be your cartoonist today. You ever wonder why cartoonists like me make so much money?

PANEL 2

Barry is holding out a big globe as he speaks.

BARRY: “After all,” you say, “There are well-trained cartoonists all over the world willing to take U.S. qualification exams and draw cartoons for much less.”

PANEL 3

Barry is pontificating and looks pretentious, one hand holding a lapel of his jacket, the other holding a forefinger up in a “giving a lecture” sort of way. Behind him, the fish is watching.

BARRY: True! Luckily, the U.S. limits how many foreign cartoonists can work here. Despite the severe problems caused by the cartoonist shortage.

PANEL 4

Barry is now in the famous “Uncle Sam Wants You” poster pose, pointing a finger at the reader, and wearing an Uncle Sam top hat.

BARRY: According to Uncle Sam, “free trade” and competition driving down pay isn’t for me. It’s for unimportant non-cartoonist people like you.

PANEL 5

Barry and a woman are in the panel. Barry has grabbed her purse and is pulling cash out of it; the woman looks annoyed.

BARRY: All of this means cartoonists can charge more for cartoons. It’s like a tax you pay so I can be richer.

PANEL 6

Still in the fishbowl on the little table, the goldfish speaks, with a slightly distressed expression. Barry is very shocked by this development, jumping up and eyes popping.

GOLDY: Hold on, that can’t be true!

BARRY: Goldy? You can talk?

PANEL 7

A close-up on Goldy as she sticks her head out above the water to speak. She looks worried.

GOLDY:  Don’t change the subject. Does Uncle Sam really make us all pay more so you can be richer?

BARRY: Nah, I was fibbing. They don’t do that for cartoonists.

PANEL 8

Goldy, smiling, is relieved. Barry shrugs as he cheerfully goes on.

GOLDY: I knew it! Protectionism for the rich would be totally against the U.S.’s ideas of fairness and free tra-

BARRY: They just do it for doctors, dentists, and lawyers.

CHICKEN FAT WATCH

“Chicken fat” is a cartoonist expression for unimportant but hopefully fun details in a cartoon that readers could easily miss.

In panel one, a little label pointing to Rich Barry’s cufflink says “gold cufflinks.” In panel two, when Rich Barry holds up a globe, a little caption pointing to it says “Golden Globe.” And in panel three, a similar little caption pointing to the fish says “Gold Fish.”

In panel two, if you look closely at the continents on the globe Rich Barry is holding, one is shaped like Pac-Man and two are shaped like Ghosts fleeing Pac-Man.

In panel six, when Barry’s glasses pop off in cartoon surprise, his eyeballs remain in the glasses rather than staying on his face.


Free Trade Is For Peasants, Not Cartoonists | Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

The GOP Tax Policy Cycle!

Cartoon by Barry


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon is laid out in a circle, with each panel having an arrow leading the reader to the next panel. So in principle, any of these four panels could be panel one. But for purposes of this transcript, I’ll start out with the topmost panel.

Each panel shows the same powerful-looking middle-aged man, wearing a suit with a red striped tie.

In the middle of the cartoon is the title, printed in large friendly letters. The title i: THE GOP TAX POLICY CYCLE.

PANEL 1

The man – who I’ll just call GOP – is looking at a piece of paper he’s holding and jumping up with a horrified expression on his face.

GOP: HORRORS! The U.S. is running a DEFICIT!

PANEL 2

The man steeples his fingers in front of him and has a big smirk, as he closes his eyes. He looks very content.

GOP: We HAVE to make BIG cuts to social welfare programs!

PANEL 3

The man is now dancing in place, one foot kicked off the ground, arms raised, and has a big grin.

GOP: Then we’ll give rich people and corporations HUGE tax cuts!

PANEL 4

The man is now leaning against the side of the cartoon with one hand. The other hand holds a piece of paper, which he’s glaring at.

MAN: Mysteriously, those tax cuts were followed by less tax revenue, which means…

(Panel 4 is followed by an arrow leading back to panel 1.)

PANEL 1

The man – who I’ll just call GOP – is looking at a piece of paper he’s holding and jumping up with a horrified expression on his face.

GOP: HORRORS! The U.S. is running a DEFICIT!


The GOP Tax Policy Cycle | Patreon

Posted in Conservatives, Economic cartoons, Right-wingers |

Self-Made Billionaire!

Cartoon by Barry


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels. There’s an enormous main panel, the size of the whole cartoon, and then there are five small “inset” panels floating at different angles on top of the main panel.

MAIN PANEL

The main panel shows a smiling, self-satisfied looking white man, wearing casual-but-nice clothes – a long sleeved short shirt tucked into brown pants, with a light blue suit jacket worn on top. He’s holding the lapels of his jacket as he speaks. The last three words of his dialog are printed in much larger lettering, acting as the title of the comic strip.

He is standing thigh-deep in an enormous pile of green dollar bills (presumably of high denominations, although my drawing isn’t detailed enough to show that). Each of the small panels has dollars pouring out of the panel and falling to join the big money pile at the bottom of the cartoon.

MAN: I’m proud to be a SELF-MADE BILLIONAIRE!

INSET PANEL 1

CAPTION: Government Subsidies

A very traditionally-drawn Uncle Sam, grinning, is holding a bucket upside down, and money is pouring out of the bucket.

INSET PANEL 2

CAPTION: Inherited Wealth

A baby in a onesie is napping blissfully on a big pile of brown bags with a “$” printed on each bag.

INSET PANEL 3

CAPTION: Tax Loopholes

A sort of organic-looking hole tunnels into an abstract surface. Money is shooting out of the hole and falling out of the panel, towards the big money pile.

I originally tried drawing this panel as a more literal loophole, made of thread, but somehow that seemed to illustrate the concept less well than a totally abstract approach.

INSET PANEL 4

CAPTION: Publicly Funded Infrastructure

A highway overpass is passing over a lower highway overpass. Cars and trucks are driving on both levels of overpasses, including a large truck with its rear doors open; money is flowing out of the rear doors towards the big money pile.

INSET PANEL 5

This is the final inset panel of the cartoon.

CAPTION: Exploited Workers.

Two workers – one wearing a blue vest over a white shirt, and an orange cap, the other wearing a polo shirt and carrying a large cardboard box, look irritated. Money is flying out of their pockets to join the big money pile.


Self-Made Billionaire | Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

5 Things Congress Says When It Plans To Cut Social Security

Cartoon by Barry


If you enjoy these cartoons, help us make more by supporting the Patreon! A $2 pledge really helps.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has seven panels. The first six panels are a two-by-three grid taking up the left half of the cartoon; the seventh panel takes up the entire right half of the cartoon.

PANEL 1

This panel is empty except for the title of the cartoon, printed in large, friendly looking letters.

5 THINGS CONGRESS SAYS WHEN IT PLANS TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY

PANEL 2

A red haired man wearing a brown suit, and a dark tie with red dots, is speaking directly to the reader, looking a little anxious.

MAN: Cuts? NEVER! We only want to… er… “raise the retirement age.”

PANEL 3

A smiling man, wearing a suit with a red striped tie, worries his hands in front of his chin as he talks to the reader.

MAN: We’ll just take billions out of Social Security funds to play the stock market! What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

PANEL 4

A man with a salesman’s grin, wearing a cream-colored jacket over a light blue shirt and red tie, holds his lapels as he talks to the reader.

MAN: Social Security should “sunset” every five years unless Congress re-passes it. (Sunsets can’t be bad! They’re so pretty!)

PANEL 5

A well-dressed woman wearing a red jacket over a v-neck gray blouse is looking a bit up into the air as she searches for the right word. Her expression is uncertain.

WOMAN: Overhaul! Wait that sounds bad… Reform! No… um…

PANEL 6

An older man, but still quite strong looking, has white hair parted on one side and is wearing a white button down shirt with a black necktie. He has a stern expression as he speaks to the reader.

MAN: Our debt limit plan won’t cut Social Security! It’ll just force Social Security cuts. That’s totally different!

PANEL 7

This panel has a large caption at the top, in the same font as panel one, which says:

1 THING IT NEVER SAYS

The red-haired man from panel two is back, talking directly to the reader and making a chopping motion with one hand. His expression is stern. Behind him we can see the U.S. Capitol Building (although the Statue of Freedom on top of the building has been replaced by a statue of Woodstock from Peanuts).

MAN: We plan to cut Social Security.


5 Things Congress Says When It Plans To Cut Social Security | Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, and if you’re inclined to, and if you have the money, and if doing so wouldn’t break any religious rules or local laws, you can support my Patreon. I make a living from lots of people pledging just one or two dollars, and I think that’s really neat.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has nine panels.

PANEL ONE

At the top of the panel, there is a large caption, which says: THE DEBT CEILING HOSTAGE CRISIS.

The panel shows a middle-aged man, wearing a brown suit with a red necktie, standing in a deep trench that’s been cut into the floor. It’s reminiscent of defensive trenches dug by soldiers during war, but it’s very clean and abstract, rather than being a realistic trench.

The man is holding an old-fashioned comic book bomb – a perfectly round black sphere with a burning fuse – in one hand, and shaking a fist with the other. He’s yelling and looks angry.

MAN: Give me what I want – or I’ll blow us ALL up!

PANEL TWO

A far shot lets us see that there are actually two trenches here. In one trench is the man from panel one; in the other is a white-haired woman wearing a blue blazer over a red blouse. The two of them are facing each other.

WOMAN: What do you want?

PANEL THREE

The man holds up the bomb higher, and holds up the forefinger of his other hand. He’s still yelling angrily.

MAN: I want BIG cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

PANEL FOUR

Pretty much the same scene, except now we’re seeing the angry-looking man in profile.

MAN: I ALSO want big cuts for climate change spending. AND the IRS. AND welfare.

PANEL FIVE

A close-up of the man as he smiles.

MAN: Basically, if it’s not defense spending or tax cuts for the rich, I want it slashed.

PANEL SIX

The “camera” pulls back so we can see both trenches; the woman is in the foreground, the man (still grinning and holding up the bomb) is in the background.

MAN: And if I DON’T get EVERYTHING I want, I’m blowing up the economy!

MAN: Do we have a deal?

PANEL SEVEN

A shot of the woman, who has an angry expression as she stares at the man, her arms crossed.

WOMAN: No.

PANEL EIGHT

A shot of the two of them staring at each other, with the back of the woman’s head in the foreground. The man is thinking things over.

PANEL NINE

A shot of the man in his trench, looking a little surprised, and also like his feelings have been hurt.

MAN: You’re not even going to negotiate?


The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis | Barry Deutsch on Patreon

Posted in Conservatives, Economic cartoons, Right-wingers |

Selective Heartlessness, aka, On Employers Who “Can’t Afford” Paying A Living Wage

Cartoon by Barry


The fall of Rome was caused by not enough Romans supporting my Patreon. So sad! If only there were some way of preventing our civilization from suffering the same terrible fate…


I know in real life people seldom walk around in vests. But I really like drawing vests.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows the same two people chatting as they walk through a hilly park. One, the person walking in front, is wearing a vest and tie, and has one of those beards that’s done with a very thin strip of beard. (There’s probably a word for it?) The other is an older woman, with curly white hair, a striped shirt, a calf-length skirt, and cat-eye glasses. Let’s call them VEST and SKIRT.

PANEL 1

Vest is in front, taking big strides and scowling a little as he talks. Skirt follows a few steps behind, listening with a look of concentration.

VEST: Workers who aren’t paid a so-called “living wage” aren’t earning one! If they can’t handle wages set by the free market, a more productive worker will take their place.

PANEL 2

A close-up of Vest’s face; over his shoulder, still several steps behind, we can see Skirt holding up a finger to make a point. Vest looks crabby, and honestly, Skirt looks a little crabby too. These two may not be destined to be close friends.

VEST: I can’t stay in business if I pay my employees more than I have to!

SKIRT: Think of it this way…

PANEL 3

A close-up of Skirt, who is holding up both hands at shoulder height, “talking with her hands,” and smiling as she gets into what she’s saying.

SKIRT: If an employer can’t figure out how to pay a living wage, they don’t deserve to stay in business. A more productive entrepreneur will take their place, right?

PANEL 4

For the first time in the strip, Vest has turned around to face Skirt. He looks very distressed, his eyes huge, and he’s yelling. Skirt, startled, takes a step back.

VEST: HOW CAN YOU BE SO HEARTLESS?!?


On Employers Who Can’t Afford Paying A Living Wage | Barry Deutsch on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Kids Today Are So Lazy! (Living Wage cartoon)

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, then you’re a terrible terrible person and you should definitely consider a mountain retreat to work on your spiritual size, say five to eight years of contemplating the pine trees, going barefoot and living only on barries. And since you’ll be saving so much money on food and shoes, why not support my Patreon?


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows two women on a sidewalk in a residential area, talking. The younger woman has black, straight hair, and is wearing  a short-sleeved blouse with puffy sleeves, black tights with some tears, and sandals. The older woman has big curly hair, and is wearing a light blue blazer over a black shirt and slacks, with black kitten heels.

PANEL 1

The two women are talking; the younger woman has an earnest expression, while the older woman is holding out a palm in a somewhat dismissive manner and smiling.

YOUNGER: $17 per hour is a living wage. Everyone should be paid at least that.

OLDER: Your generation just has to work harder. Like mine did!

PANEL 2

A close-up of just the older woman, She’s pointing at the younger woman, smiling and lifting an eyebrow.

OLDER: I started working in 1970. I got $2.20 an hour and felt lucky! Then I worked my way up! You should be paid what I was. You’d learn something.

PANEL 3

A longer shot of the two of them. The younger woman has turned away and is tapping on her smartphone.

YOUNGER: Hold that thought…

PANEL 4

The younger woman has turned back towards the older woman, and is grinning and pointing to something on her smartphone screen, which she’s holding up to display to the older woman. The older woman leans down to look at the smartphone, and she looks taken aback.

YOUNGER: $2.20 per hour in 1970 is $17 per hour in today’s money. I agree, we should be paid like that!


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

A Right-Winger’s Guide to Labor Economics

Cartoon by Barry


For want of a shoe the shoelace was lost. For want of a shoelace the shoefly was lost. For want of a shoefly the flyover states were lost. For want of the flyover states the state of grace was lost. And the only way to get the state of grace back is to support these cartoons on Patreon. Weird how that works.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels. Every panel shows the same man, a white man with a mustache and thick hair that’s going white around the temples, who is speaking to the reader in front of an abstract color backgound. He’s wearing tan slacks, a light blue collared shirt, and a red striped necktie.

PANEL 1

A caption at the top of the panel, in big red letters, says:

A RIGHT-WINGER’S GUIDE TO LABOR ECONOMICS

The man in the necktie is looking sincere, his hands pressed together in front of him almost like he’s praying.

MAN: CEOs are infallible and holy and the government must get out of their way.

PANEL 2

The same man is suddenly exploding with anger, stomping his feet and waving his hands and yelling.

MAN: Workers are the worst! They need the constant threat of unemployment, homelessness and starvation to do anything!

PANEL 3

In a closer shot, the man looks out at the reader with an expression of bewilderment, as he shrugs.

MAN: If Luisa’s boss is illegally paying her $3.50 an hour, then $3.50 is exactly what she’s worth! I can think of no other explanation!

PANEL 4

Now the man has switched into a wise-professor-explaining pose, face calm, a finger raised to emphasize his point as he speaks.

MAN: High unemployment happens when millions of people get lazy all at once. It stays high until they all suddenly stop being lazy. Until the next recession, when they’re lazy again.

PANEL 5

A sudden, extreme closeup shows the man‘s face contorted with furry as he yells. (Wait, no, contorted with “fury,” not “furry.” I don’t know or want to know what being ”contorted with furry” is.) We can see that he’s trembling, and a little caption with an arrow pointing at him says “trembling with rage.”

The background, which up until now has mostly been a cool light purple, is bright red/pink in this panel.

MAN (yelling): When unions force rich people to pay employees more, that’s literal armed robbery!

PANEL 6

The “camera” pulls back to a full-figure shot, and his expression is now calm and smiling and a little smug. He’s got his arms crossed and is standing with one foot on the heel in a jaunty sort of pose.

MAN: Everything I say is the objective truth because I am super logical and definitely not just rationalizing my ideological beliefs and if you don’t agree then you suck at economics! LOL!


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Conservatives, Economic cartoons |

Equal Opportunity, Not Equal Outcomes

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, you’ll probably also like sticking your toes into a mud bank and wiggling them until the neon worms come to nestle between your toes. If you can manage to stay like that for 30 hours straight despite the exhaustion and increasing pain from not moving (lifehack: bring a pillow to sit on), you’ll gain the power to walk across water. The downside is, you’ll leave glowing neon footprints everywhere you go, making it easy for the secretive government agency to track you down and throw you into their secret facility for studying people with powers. And the worst part is, the smooth-faced people in low-end businesswear who run that agency don’t like cartoons at all. So to pre-emptively get revenge on them, remember to subscribe to my patreon before they lock you up. (And say hi to the neon worms from me!)


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows the same two people walking on a path on a hillside as they talk. The person walking in front is a Black man, with a mustache and beard, wearing a t shirt with a sort of smiley face on it, except the face has a neutral expression rather than a smile. The second person is a white man with black hair in a tidy haircut, and a plaid sweater-vest over a collared shirt. For purposes of this transcript, I’m calling these two characters TSHIRT and VEST.

PANEL 1

Vest is speaking seriously as he talks to Tshirt. Tshirt is very enthused about what he’s hearing, smiling big and spreading his arms expansively.

VEST: It’s stupid to expect equal outcomes, because not everyone is equal. Some people are just born with less ability than others. What we need is equal opportunity.

TSHIRT:  “Equal opportunity” sounds great!

PANEL 2

A close-up of Tshirt and he turns to look at Vest, enthusiastically smiling as he holds up a finger while making a point.

TSHIRT: Let’s start with a massive inheritance tax. Nothing‘s a more unequal opportunity than some people being born with millions while others start with nothing.

PANEL 3

A longer shot shows more of the environment; we can see plants with long leaves in the foreground, and trees in both the foreground and background. Tshirt, still very enthused, slaps a fist into a palm as he anticipates what might be done.  Vest looks panicked, holding up his palms in a “whoa there!” gesture, eyes wide.

TSHIRT: We can use that money to make other opportunities equal. Like free college! And free health care for all! And—

VEST: STOP!  I didn’t mean any of that stuff! I just mean Black people are less intelligent so we shouldn’t try to fix race inequality!

PANEL 4

Tshirt, looking calm but also angry, has turned to face Vest, with his hands on his hips. Vest has turned away from Tshirt, arms crossed, nose held high in a snooty expression.

TSHIRT: Oh, so you’re just a complete fucking racist.

VEST: Intolerant reactions like that are exactly why I prefer to say “equal opportunity.”


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons, Racism & Racists |

Anything to Fix the Housing Crisis

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, then you’d probably like my cousin Edna. And if you like my cousin Edna, you’d probably also like her special tuna noodle casserole made with tabasco sauce. And if you like my cousin Edna’s special tuna noodle casserole made with tabasco sauce, then the police are interested in talking with you about an incident on Berlington Circle Avenue last Tuesday, but they say you’re not a suspect and no need to hire a lawyer. But if you do hire a lawyer, cousin Edna knows a guy. And that guy supports these cartoons on Patreon.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels. All the panels show two women, one with spiky hair and one with curly hair, talking to each other. The spiky-haired woman is wearing a red and pink striped v-neck tee shirt, shorts, and sneakers. The curly-haired woman is wearing an orange tank top and a purple skirt with a pattern of large dots.

PANEL 1

Spiky is looking distressed, holding her hands to her head; Curly looks determined, pounding her palm with her fist.

SPIKY: The affordable housing crisis gets worse every year!

CURLY: Let’s fix this – I’ll do anything!

PANEL 2

Spiky is enthusiastic, lifting a pointer finger in the air as she makes a point. Curly turns away, holding up a palm in a dismissive way, looking annoyed.

SPIKY: Our biggest problem is the zoning laws. If we allowed taller buildings with units reserved for low-income–

CURLY: I don’t want to live close to those people!

PANEL 3

Spiky is taken aback, and makes her new point with a lot less confidence in her body language. Curly keeps her back turned to Spiky and crosses her arms.

SPIKY: Um… Let’s at least ban single-family zoning. If people could build “granny apartments”–

CURLY: That could change the “feel” of my neighborhood.

PANEL 4

Spiky clasps her hands in front as she makes a new suggestion, almost looking like she’s begging. Curly has turned back to face Spiky and looks angry, arms akimbo.

SPIKY: If we got rid of minimum lot sizes…

CURLY: Ugh! Houses built close together are ugly!

PANEL 5

Spiky makes another suggestion, looking unhappy, and Curly angrily rejects that suggestion.

SPIKY: How about eliminating parking minimums for new housing?

CURLY: And make parking spaces harder to find? Never!

PANEL 6

The characters are drawn smaller, as if we’re exiting this scene. Now Spiky looks annoyed, and her arms are akimbo. Curly looks cheerful and spreads her palms as if she’s making an obvious point.

SPIKY: So when you said you’d do “anything”…?

CURLY: Anything that doesn’t change anything.


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

What We Can Afford

Cartoon by Barry


This comic is by myself and Kevin Moore.


IF you like these cartoons, support them like a suspension bridge after the holidays but before three shakes of a cat’s tale of woe by supporting my patreon!


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has six panels. Each panel shows the same two people talking, a middle-aged male politician type wearing a well-tailored suit, and a younger woman wearing a jeans jacket over an untucked yellow shirt.  We’ll call the two characters “SENATOR” and “ACTIVIST” for purposes of this transcript.

PANEL 1

Senator and Activist are talking, although the Senator doesn’t look like he wants to be in this conversation – he’s looking at his cell phone. The activist is facing him and looks serious, holding a palm up in a “here’s the point I’m making” gesture.

ACTIVIST: Good welfare programs can actually save the government money. Homes for the homeless, health care for children and pregnant women, free pre-K education, good vocational education in prison… All these programs save us money in the long run.

PANEL 2

A close-up of Activist, smiling and pressing a forefinger to the side of her head.

ACTIVIST: We should do these tings because they’re the right thing to do… But they’re also the smart thing to do.

PANEL 3

The camera has backed up enough so that we can see that the two of them are standing on a big pile of cash. The senator is smiling and shrugging. The activist is gesturing at the cash they’re standing on.

SENATOR: Even if that’s true, we just can’t afford it! The debt, the deficit… The country’s broke!

ACTIVIST: What is this we’re standing on?

PANEL 4

The “camera” has pulled back even more, and we can now see that the two of them are standing on top of a huge load of money being carried by an enormous dump truck. There’s so much money that it rises high above the sides of the truck’s, um, you know, that space that big trucks have that they carry their loads in. I’m sure there’s a word for it, but I don’t know what that word is. Anyway, the pile of money rises high above whatever we call that.

(The word “Moola” is painted on the front of the truck).

SENATOR: This? One of our daily dump trucks full of money for huge tax breaks for rich people and big corporations.

ACTIVIST: And what is the truck standing on?

PANEL 5

The “camera” has pulled back even more, and now we can see that the dump truck full of money is parked on top of a pile of money that’s huge even when compared to a giant dump truck. The money is on top of a cargo ship, which is floating on the ocean.

Se can still make out the Senator and the Activist, but the camera is now pulled back so far that they’re little more than tiny dots.

SENATOR: Let’s see… The truck is on top of one of our daily cargo ships full of money for the military.

PANEL 6

The “camera” has zoomed back in to a close shot of the two people. The Senator is talking with a neutral expression. The activist is face-palming.

SENATOR: Why? What’s your point?


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons, Kevin Moore collaborations |

Capitalism can Innovate Around Anything!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, please support them! Each $2 pledge really helps! Do it or I’ll buy a puppy from a puppy farm instead of going to a shelter!


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels, plus an additional tiny “kicker” panel under the bottom of the cartoon.

The cartoon shows two businessmen-types walking on a city street. One of them is wearing a red bow-tie and a sky-blue suit; the other is wearing an ordinary tie and a duller suit, with a desaturated green jacket and black pants. The bow-tie guy is totally bald – probably shaves his head – and has a van dyke beard and mustache. The regular-tie guy has blond hair and is cleanshaven, and is looking at his smart phone as he walks.

PANEL ONE

The two of them walk on the sidewalk, Blonde looking at his phone, Bowtie raising his arms enthusiastically as he talks, grinning. (Not important to the cartoon: In the background, across the street, a smiling businessman talks to a smiling man with red skin, horns, and a tail, who is holding up a clipboard. And a woman in a second story window leans out to smile at a largish bird which is hovering and looking back at her.)

BOWTIE: The most amazing thing about capitalism is the creative genius of entrepreneurs!

PANEL 2

A closeup on just Bowtie, who looks overjoyed. His eyes are drawn as stars, and the air around him is filled with stars and dollar signs.

BOWTIE: If there’s profit to be made, there’s nothing capitalism can’t do! Feed the world! Create the internet! Create modern medicine!

PANEL 3

A shot of the two of them walking. Bowtie keeps on grinning and talking, his fists pumped in front of him in a pleased sort of way. Blonde reads something from the cell phone he’s holding.

BOWTIE: There’s no problem that capitalism can’t innovate around!

BLONDE: Hey, look at this: some senators want new regulations to protect the climate.

PANEL 4

Bowtie jumps straight up into the air (cartoon code for “I am very surprised”), clutching his face in his hands, his mouth and eyes huge in an expression of enormous dismay. He is yelling. Blonde, surprised by Bowtie’s big reaction, is stumbling back from Bowtie a little.

BOWTIE: NOOOO! CAPITALISM IS DOOMED!

TINY KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP

Bowtie is speaking directly to the readers, his face still showing distress.

BOWTIE: Even if capitalism miraculously survives, some rich people will be slightly less rich! I can’t imagine a greater tragedy!


This cartoon on patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons, Environmental cartoons |

How City Budgets Work

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, help us make more by supporting the Patreon! Getting lots of $1 and $2 pledges is our business model. Also, I just used the term “business model” in a sentence. Life is weird.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

(New drinking game! Every time I make a typo, take a drink. Don’t play this game if you have to drive later.)

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows a different scene, and has a different color palette.

PANEL 1

This panel, drawing with an orange-ish palette, shows a woman talking on the phone, looking a little panicked. Beside her, a wide-eyed child watches, looking very worried. Above them both is a large caption, in big green letters.

CAPTION: HOW CITY BUDGETS WORK

WOMAN: A six year waiting list? But we’re homeless now!

PANEL 2

This panel is colored in shades of purple.

A middle-aged woman wearing glasses and a striped dress is talking to a middle-aged man wearing a suit and tie. She looks wide-eyed and worried; he looks angry, glaring into space as he talks.

Behind them we can see a big window; various shapes (a banana, an apple, flowers, a star) have been cut out of paper and taped to the window. In front of them, we see mostly the heads and faces of a crowd of children, variously talking, smiling, making a peace sign, and dozing off (with a bit of drool).

WOMAN: But we can’t fit another 30 chairs into this classroom!

MAN: Chairs? City Hall says kids can stand.

PANEL 3

This panel is colored in very dreary shades of green.

We are looking through a doorway at a man with slightly shaggy hair, who sits unhappily at a cheap rectangular table in an otherwise empty room. Outside the room, leaning back as if he’s just calling something into the room while rushing past, a man wearing glasses and a jacket and tie, talks to the shaggy-haired man.

RUSHING MAN: Hi! I’m your public defender. Unfortunately, I’ve been assigned so many defendants that introducing myself is all the time I have for your case this month.

RUSHING MAN: See you at your trial!

PANEL 4

This panel is colored in shades of blue, except for the cash, which is colored in green.

A group of cops is dancing merrily while grinning. One cop waggles his midsection; one imitates John Travolta’s disco pose from “Saturday Night Fever”; a couple dances in a pair, arms on each other’s shoulders; a few others are kicking and throwing their arms up into the hair. It’s a celebration. Green cash is filling the air, raining down on them.

COPS (said by several in unison): MONEY DANCE!


How City Budgets Work | Barry Deutsch on Patreon

Posted in Economic cartoons |

I’ve Tried Everything To Find New Workers!

Cartoon by Barry


If you like my cartoons, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon is four panels long. Each panel shows the same prosperous-looking middle-aged white man, wearing a suit and tie, walking on city sidewalks and talking loudly into his cell phone.

There’s an additional tiny “kicker” panel below the bottom of the comic.

PANEL 1

Necktie man is talking into his cell phone with an aggrieved expression. He’s walking pass an annoyed-looking young guy leaning against a wall. The young guy is wearing a backwards baseball cap, glasses, and a tank top, and he’s speaking to necktie man. Necktie man gives no sign of having heard.

NECKTIE: I’ve tried everything to find new workers! I’ve gone to job fairs… Offered them tee-shirts for applying…

WALL LEANER: Did you offer higher wages?

PANEL 2

Necktie dude is now in a different area, still looking aggrieved and talking loudly into his phone. On the street next to the sidewalk, a blonde woman on a bike, wearing a red bike helmet and a blue hoodie, talks to Necktie as she passes him.

NECKTIE: I can’t fill these jobs! I even got the government to throw people off unemployment… Nothing works!

BIKER: Have you tried offering higher wages?

PANEL 3

Necktie walks past a little girl playing hopscotch on the same sidewalk. The girl is wearing a purple skirt with puffy tool at the bottom, and a sleeveless tee with a pattern of red spirals.

NECKTIE: I’m offering unpredictable schedules, minimal benefits and $9 an hour! And they still don’t want my jobs?

LITTLE GIRL: You should offer higher wages.

PANEL 4

Necktie dude walks past a couple of casually-dressed protestors. The first protestor is holding a large sign that says “HIGHER,” and the second protestor has a large sign that says “WAGES.”

NECKTIE: I’ve tried everything. They just don’t want to work!

NECKTIE: Hello, governor? Can we arrest people for being unemployed?

TINY KICKER PANEL UNDER THE BOTTOM OF THE STRIP

Necktie dude, still looking grumpy, is talking at Barry the cartoonist.

NECKTIE: I’d love to pay higher wages, but we don’t have the money! I had to get by on only a $38 million salary this year!

 


This cartoon on Patreon.

Posted in Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons, Labor rights & Unions |

Doing Too Little vs Helping Too Many

Cartoon by Barry


Help us keep making cartoons by supporting my Patreon! If you do, you’ll grow three feet taller and dogs everywhere will like you!


This month’s collab with Becky Hawkins has more of Becky in it than usual, I think.

This cartoon originated in a remark Becky made, that most safety net debates seem to boil down to doing too little versus helping too many. What Becky said stuck in my head, and I came back to her with this cartoon script.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. All four panels show the same two people. A redhead wearing thick glasses and a green jacket over a checkboard sweater – let’s face it, they look like a nerd – is sitting at a desk, with a stack of papers on the desk. (I’m a nerd, so I’m allowed to say that.) Standing next to the desk is a blonde woman with a blue dress and a matching blue necklace.

PANEL 1

Redhead gestures towards the stack of papers, smiling. Necklace leans over to look at the papers, raising an eyebrow.

REDHEAD: Check this out! I’ve created a proposal for better welfare benefits.

NECKLACE: Hmmm…

PANEL 2

Necklace points to something on the papers, looking a little annoyed.  Redhead is concerned by what she’s saying.

NECKLACE: But this plan leaves so many people out.

PANEL 3

Redhead leans back over the papers, writing rapidly with a pen. Necklace leans over, hand on chin, as she looks at what Redhead’s writing.

REDHEAD: Good point… Here, let me just fix some things…

PANEL 4

Redhead, looking proud, holds up a paper to display to Necklace. Necklace angrily yells, throwing papers into the air.

REDHEAD: Okay, how’s this?

NECKLACE: NOW YOUR PLAN HELPS PEOPLE WHO DON’T DESERVE IT!


This cartoon on Patreon

Posted in Becky Hawkins collaborations, Economic cartoons |

Corporate Diversity Training

Cartoon by Barry


If you enjoy these cartoons, please support them on Patreon.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels, showing a zoom conversation between someone who looks like a successful middle aged executive (vest, tie, bald on top, drapery in the background) and someone who looks much younger, with a light yellow polo shirt and deferential body language. Behind him we can see a neat, uncluttered room with a plant on a bookcase and some sort of framed certificate or degree on the wall.

PANEL 1

We are looking at a laptop, open; on the laptop’s screen, we see a zoom-style conversation with two people, who I’ll call the executive and yellowshirt. The executive is holding up a finger as he gives out an assignment, and looks demanding. Yellowshirt is holding up a hand as he tries to explain something.

EXECUTIVE: This company needs to say it’s done something to become more diverse.

YELLOWSHIRT: Sir, I’ve been reading the research on this.

PANEL 2 

A medium shot of Yellowshirt, now raising both palms as he warms to his subject.

YELLOWSHIRT: Quickie “diversity seminars” don’t help, and can even make things worse because of the resentment factor. We won’t become really diverse until we commit to changing how we recruit and mentor, starting from the top.

PANEL 3

A long shot of Yellowshirt. We can now see that the room outside the view of his webcam is actually incredibly sloppy; there’s an open pizza box, a pile of laundry, a half eaten apple. a sock hanging off a bookshelf, an empty soda can on its side, and other sorts of junk. Yellowshirt, arms spread, is looking enthusiastic as he warms to the subject.

YELLOWSHIRT: It’ll take years of hard work. We’d have to change our company culture. But if we do it, we can make our company more diverse and more profitable.

PANEL 4

Back to the split-screen showing both the executive and Yellowshirt. The executive is leaning forward, towards the camera, and is holding a flat hand out in a “cutting you off now” gesture. Yellowshirt is face-palming.

EXECUTIVE: Listen to my words. We need to say we’ve done something. To SAY it.

YELLOWSHIRT: I’ll schedule a diversity seminar right away, sir.

Posted in Economic cartoons |

Are You GENUINELY Poor?

Cartoon by Barry


Please support these cartoons by supporting my Patreon! Just a $1 or $2 pledge means a lot to me.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each panel shows two men: A not-wealthy looking man with shaggy hair and some stubble, and a bald man in glasses, wearing a business suit and tie. Each panel shows them at a sidewalk with grass growing in the background.

PANEL 1

Shaggy is wearing a wrinkled collared shirt and jeans. Necktie is wearing a gray suit with a tie with a dot pattern.

It’s bright daytime. Shaggy, with his back turned to Necktie, is looking at and poking a smartphone, and, in the helpful way people so often do in the first panel of my cartoons, talking aloud to himself. Necktie is turning to look at, and yell at, Shaggy.

SHAGGY: I can’t find a job and I’m out of money… Time to google “food stamps.”

NECKTIE: Food stamps are for people who are genuinely poor. If you were poor, you wouldn’t own a smartphone, would you?

PANEL 2

A caption says “one week later.”

From the light, it appears to be early evening. Shaggy is wearing a plaid shirt and Black pants, and has a backpack; Necktie is wearing a pinstripe suit and a tie with horizontal stripes.

Shaggy is looking worried and has a hand on his chest; Necktie is sternly talking to, and pointing at, Shaggy.

SHAGGY: I sold my phone, but now I’m out of money again.

NECKTIE: So sell your car. No one who owns a car is poor.

PANEL 3

A caption says “one month later.”

The same two men, on a similar patch of sidewalk. Shaggy is wearing sweatpants with a stripe down the side, and a hole in one knee, and a tee shirt. Necktie is wearing a dark blue suit, a black shirt, and a light-colored necktie.

Shaggy is sitting on the curb, slumping, looking down both literally and metaphorically. Necktie, talking to Shaggy, looks very cheerful.

SHAGGY: Now I’ve got no money for food, no phone for job hunting, and no car to get to a job!

NECKTIE: Excellent! Now you’re genuinely poor!

PANEL 4

The same scene, a moment later. Shaggy, looking hopeful, is looking up at Necktie. Necktie folds his arms and grins even more.

SHAGGY: So now you’re okay with me getting food stamps?

NECKTIE: Nope!


Genuinely Poor | Patreon

Posted in Barry's favorites, Economic cartoons |

Capitalism/Socialism

Cartoon by Barry


If you like these cartoons, help me make more at my Patreon! Lots of $1 or $2 pledges means I can make a living.


Today’s comic is written by me and drawn by Jake Richmond, creator of Modest Medusa. Jake is a longtime friend and collaborator of mine – he colored my “Hereville” graphic novels – but this is the first time he’s drawn a comic of mine.

Jake’s a terrific cartoonist. The major reason I asked him to draw this strip rather than another is because I’ve always liked how Jake draws water.


 

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. All four panels show a man in a one-person rowboat. He’s rowing  The man is wearing an “Uncle Sam” style red-white-and-blue top hat.

PANEL 1

The man – let’s call him Uncle Sam – is rowing and talking cheerfully. He’s rowing facing backwards (as people often do in rowboats), so he can’t see that his boat is heading straight towards a large rock jutting above the water.

SAM: Capitalism capitalism capitalism capitalism…

PANEL 2

The boat hits the rock, and Sam is thrown over the side of the boat. His hat flies up a little off his head, and we can see that he’s bald.

SAM: Capitali- AHH!

PANEL 3

The man, looking panicked, scrambles to get back into the boat, yelling as he struggles, the water splashing around him. His hat floats on the water nearby.

SAM: SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM! SOCIALISM!

PANEL 4

Sam is now back in the rowboat, looking happy and relieved. All is calm. He has put the hat, dripping with water, back on his head.

SAM: Where was I…? Oh yes… Capitalism capitalism…

Posted in Economic cartoons |

Private Equity Vampire

Cartoon by Barry


If you enjoy these comics, please help me make more by supporting my Patreon! A $1 or $2 pledge really matters.


TRANSCRIPT OF COMIC:

This comic strip has four panels. All four panels show the same two characters. The first is a balding businessman-looking type, middle-aged, wearing a collared shirt and necktie, and wearing glasses. The second character is a stereotypical male vampire, with pointy ears, pale skin, fangs, and a big black cloak.

All four panels take place at night, in a hilly graveyard.

PANEL 1

This panel shows the businessman jumping back in fear as the vampire leans towards him, leering.

BUSINESSMAN: Gasp! A vampire!

VAMPIRE: I’m not a vampire. I’m a private equity firm! I’m here to help you because you’re fragile and weak!

PANEL 2

A shot shows weeds and a bare tree and some graves, mostly in silhouette, in the foreground. Far in the background, we can see the businessman being chased by the vampire. There’s a full moon in the sky.

BUSINESSMAN: But I’m actually very healthy!

VAMPIRE: You look healthy. But you need to be owned and monitored by someone who knows literally nothing about your business.

PANEL 3

In front of a stone wall with a rickety iron-bar fence, the vampire has caught the businessman, and is leaning the businessman backward while he bends forwards and sucks the blood out of the businessman’s neck. The businessman looks very distressed, understandably; the vampire looks like he’s concentrating on his meal.

BUSINESSMAN: Now you’re just sucking away all my blood for yourself.

VAMPIRE: I’m forcing you to innovate and learn to do more with less blood!

PANEL 4

The businessman lies dead on the ground, his glasses having fallen off his face, eyes in the little cartoon “x”s of death. Standing above him, the vampire cheerfully speaks, holding out a hand in an “explaining” gesture.

VAMPIRE: So it seems that without blood, you weren’t nimble enough to adapt to a changing market. I’m sure you would have died sooner if I hadn’t stepped in!

Posted in Economic cartoons |